Transforming growth factor-beta: A target for cancer therapy

Ronan J. Kelly, John C. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) is a pleiotropic growth factor that regulates cell growth and differentiation, apoptosis, cell motility, extracellular matrix production, angiogenesis, and cellular immune responses. TGF-β demonstrates paradoxical action whereby it can function to suppress early tumorigenesis; however, it can also facilitate malignant transformation and stimulate tumor growth by manipulating a more hospitable environment for tumor invasion and the development of metastases. Given the integral role of TGF-β in transformation and cancer progression, various components of the TGF-β signaling pathway offer potentially attractive therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. This review focuses on the role of TGF-β in cancer and discusses both small and large molecule drugs currently in development that target TGF-β, its receptor and important down stream steps along its signaling pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Immunotoxicology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Betaglycan
  • Cancer
  • Receptor
  • Smad
  • Transforming growth factor-beta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Toxicology


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